MONTREAL, Quebec (Canada) – Misinformation about the rules for Stephane Patry’s first Titans Fighting show Friday night at Mel’s Studio in Montreal, Quebec nearly caused a riot.
According to headliner James Thompson, who was the victim of a barrage of cans and bottles thrown by Montreal fans, there was uncertainty not only among fans but fighters as well.
Thompson alleges that Patry could not get sanctioning for his original concept of “Strikebox,” which would have restricted any ground grappling or ground striking. As such, the name of the event was changed to Titans Fighting and the commission would only sanction the fight card under regular mixed martial arts rules.
But Patry was adamant on keeping his vision of Strikeboxing alive and he reportedly spoke to the various competitors on the card to encourage them to keep the fights standing. Since the bouts were technically under MMA rules, referees did not have the authority to stand fighters up when the action spilled to the ground. This led to a gentleman’s agreement, or honor code, among many of the undercard fighters on the rules for their respective match-ups.
“Patry was trying to be sneaky,” said Thompson, whose main event against former hockey enforcer Steve Bosse was ruled a no contest. “There was no clarity on the rules.”
Many of the fighters on the card had reportedly agreed on keeping the fights standing. But no such agreement was in place for the Thompson vs. Bosse showdown.
“If there was a gentleman’s agreement made or something of that nature, it would be a different story,” said Thompson.
According to the EliteXC and PRIDE Fighting Championships veteran, he was approached by referee Yves Lavigne shortly before stepping out for the main event. Lavigne instructed him that he would officiate the bout under regular MMA rules. The same instructions must have been given to Bosse as well.
Based on his pre-fight directions, Thompson charged Bosse at the sound of the opening bell. The BTT Canada product tried to secure a guillotine choke, but Thompson successfully completed the takedown and landed on top of the popular French-Canadian superstar. Lavigne was doing his job and he let the fight continue on the ground, but fans were bewildered and under the assumption Lavigne was dropping the ball on his officiating of the fight.
In came the flying debris.
“Once [Bosse] went for a guillotine, that’s when I did what I needed to do to win the fight,” said Thompson. “I can’t second guess myself and wait to see how my opponent reacts. I just followed the rules as they were told to me.”
Thompson is also quick to point out that Bosse is managed by Patry, who promoted the event.
“I was not about to let another Kimbo situation happen where the promoter is siding with my opponent,” said Colossus.
The bout was ruled a no contest when cans, bottles and a fan’s steel chair came flying over the cage into the ring. After throwing a can at Thompson, which missed, Bosse was escorted backstage. Moments later, Thompson followed suit.
“I don’t know why they took him back there first,” said Thompson. “I am the one these fans wanted to kill.”
Approximately 1,200 furious spectators were on the verge of lashing out at the no contest ruling before being kicked out of the venue. Additional police was called to stabilize the situation.
To protect fighter safety amidst all the disappointed fans, all media was escorted from the building and post-fight reactions from Bosse, Thompson, Lavigne and Patry were not immediately attainable.
Patry, the event’s promoter and former President of the Quebec-based TKO organization, could not be reached for comment.
Despite barely getting out of Montreal alive, Thompson holds no grudge against French-Canadian fans.
“I feel bad for the fans,” he said. “It’s not their fault they were not informed. I don’t blame them. They came to see a show.”
Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on TheFightNetwork.com and appears on FiveOuncesOfPain.com with expressed permission.